Tennant vs Pertwee

Comments made by David Tennant on BBC Breakfast News over the Bank Holiday weekend in the run-up to Planet of the Dead have caused a few raised eyebrows, apparently none moreso than Sean Pertwee.

While chatting about leaving the show, why he named himself after Pet Shop Boy Neil Tennant and what it’s like kissing both Billie Piper and Kylie Minogue, Tennant declared his 1970s predecessor Jon Pertwee as “sexless”, as well as observing that:

“I can’t help it if the ladies of the universe are flinging themselves at me,”

See the interview in this clip:

As reported in the Telegraph, Sean Pertwee describes his twice-married father thus:

“He was this big bloke with tattoos and he did so much in his life.”

Married to both actress Jean Marsh (The Daleks Master Plan, Battlefield) and Sean’s mother Ingeborg, Jon Pertwee had among his companions both Katy Manning (Jo Grant) and Lis Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith).

In context, Tennant’s comments make sense – the Third Doctor and his predecessors were all portrayed as sexless, with little hint of any emotional depth to the Doctor until Jo Grant’s departure in The Green Death.

However this is a sign of the times, with little desire at the BBC for a time travelling alien to be seen romantically involved with a human.

Possibly a little unusual looking back – but are cross-species relationships any less unusual?


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